There are many parts that keep an engine running properly.
The radiator is one of them. This component is critical, because it prevents the engine from overheating and keeps you from getting stuck on the side of the road.
How the cooling system works
In the cooling process, coolant flows through the radiator. Some of the heat disappears and the coolant flows back to the engine.
There are cooling fans that come on to pull air through the radiator to keep the air flow coming across the radiator. Some fans are belt driven while others are electric. The computers of vehicles with electric fans turn them on and off.
When the engine needs to heat up during colder weather, the computer will prevent the fan from turning on. In warmer months, the fan operates at a faster speed.
When to replace the radiator
You generally only need a new radiator if it’s clogged, there’s coolant leaking, the radiator is damaged, or the cooling fins have become bent and are preventing air flow from going through.
Oil coolers and transmission coolers that are sometimes built in the radiator leak, which leads to replacing the radiator.
Depending on how the radiators are made, some manufacturers are more prone to coolant leaking at the plastic end caps.
The radiators of some vehicles never need to be replaced.
Newer cars may need a new one if the plastic and metal components that are fused together don’t seal properly. As temperatures decrease outside, any cracks in the radiator are going to become worse.
There are a few symptoms you may notice when the radiator should be changed.
Drips near a vehicle’s bumper and the smell of coolant are a couple of signs that you need a new radiator.
If you smell something sweet when you get out of the car after driving it for a while, you probably have coolant leaking.
Coolant fluid exchanges and different types of coolant
Every 30,000 miles, it’s a good idea to have a coolant fluid exchange, also known as a coolant flush — which is when coolant is drained from the system and replaced with new coolant.
This service offers many benefits, including extending the lifespan of coolant and improving how well a vehicle performs.
How often you need a coolant fluid exchange also depends on the vehicle. Some manufacturers recommend them more often.
You can learn more about coolant flushes by reading this article we wrote.
We use the correct coolant for a vehicle. Even though the green coolant is pretty universal, not all vehicles work the best with it. Some European vehicles and Diesels use a different type of coolant.
Sometimes, you might see Asian vehicles, such as Toyotas, with red coolant. Dye isn’t the only component that changes the coolant color. The type of antifreeze that helps protect the type of metal also impacts it.
Getting a coolant flush or coolant exchange with a coupon may damage your car, unless the correct coolant is being used, like it is at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.
Like other parts and systems in your car, the cooling system needs to be maintained. Doing this and replacing your radiator when it’s needed can save you a lot of headache in the future.
Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.